Euro 2024 Betting Preview: Spain Vs. Italy Odds, Props & Analysis

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Impressive Spain looking to overwhelm resolute Italy

Spain made a superb start to their Euro 2024 campaign when they beat Croatia 3-0 in Berlin on Saturday. The Croatians are currently No. 10 in the FIFA world rankings, and they finished third at the last World Cup, but they were outclassed. Álvaro Morata opened the scoring, and goals from Fabián Ruiz and Dani Carvajal sealed the win for La Roja.

They are now level on points with Italy at the top of Group B. The Italians conceded an early goal against Albania in their opening game of the tournament. However, Alessandro Bastoni equalized with a towering header and Nicolò Barella fired in the winner. The Azzurrri did well to turn that game around, but they will need to be a lot sharper if they are to beat Spain when the teams meet in Gelsenkirchen on Thursday. Our Euro betting page also has more info.

Spain Might Have To Keep Unleash Their Wingers to Win

A lack of quality in wide areas proved to be Spain’s undoing at the 2022 World Cup. La Roja could only draw 0-0 with Morocco in their Round of 16 clash, and they lost the subsequent penalty shootout. They had 77% of the possession in that game, but they struggled to create chances due to a lack of pace and penetration down the flanks.

That is no longer a concern, as Spain now has two quick, dynamic, unpredictable wingers in Lamine Yamal and Nico Williams. Both men looked dangerous against Croatia. Yamal is just 16 years old, and he became the youngest player in the history of the European Championship, but he looked composed on the ball. He created Spain’s third goal by whipping in a tantalizing cross, and he could make life difficult for Italy left-back Federico Dimarco.

Italy Path To Victory Likely Includes Nicoló Barella

Inter Milan midfielder Nicoló Barella fired in the winning goal for the Azzurri when they faced Albania at the weekend. That strike took his tally to 10 goals in 54 games for Italy. He is coming off an excellent season for Inter Milan, and he is the man that Spain will fear the most on Thursday.

Three years ago, Barella, Jorginho, and Marco Verratti inspired Italy to a famous victory over England in the final of the last European Championship. Jorginho is still a reliable presence in midfield, but he is now 32 years old and arguably past his peak. Meanwhile, Verratti is no longer in the squad. Barella is the one player that Italy can still rely upon to grab a game by the scruff of the neck and lead his team to victory, so he will be crucial to the Azzurri’s chances of success against Spain.

Spain vs. Italy odds & lines

Spain vs. Italy player props

Spain expected starting 11

Spain manager Luis de la Fuente is likely to stick with the same team that swept Croatia aside at the weekend. That means Unai Simón will start in goal, with Dani Carvajal at right-back, Robin Le Normand and Nacho in the middle of the defense, and Marc Cucurella on the left.

Rodri, Fabián Ruiz, and Pedri will start in midfield. Ruiz grabbed a goal and an assist against Croatia, justifying the manager’s decision to start him ahead of Martín Zubimendi and Mikel Merino. Lamine Yamal and Nico Williams will be deployed on the wings, with Spain captain Álvaro Morata spearheading the attack.

Italy expected starting 11

Italy did not put in a particularly convincing performance in that 2-1 victory over Albania, but there is no urgent need for manager Luciano Spalletti to change his starting XI. Gianluigi Donnarumma will keep his place in goal, with Alessandro Bastoni and Bologna’s Riccardo Calafiori playing as center-backs. Giovanni Di Lorenzo and Federico Dimarco will start as full-backs.

Davide Frattesi will link up with Jorginho and Nicolò Barella in a talented midfield. Federico Chiesa, Gianluigi Scamacca, and Lorenzo Pellegrini will form an attacking triumvirate. If Spalletti decides to mix things up, Giacomo Raspadori or Mattia Zaccagni could offer another dimension in attack.

Photo by Associated Press